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Summer Vacation Destinations for Bicyclists

rhoades car vacationAs soon as the weather starts to warm up, we turn our attention to planning that ever-important trip – our summer vacations.

If you’re a bicyclist or a Rhoades Car owner, consider a vacation destination that would include a bike trip.

Here are our top five suggested travel destinations, all of which have at least one bike path included on the Best City Bike Paths list recently published by The Active Times.

5.  Southern California

If you like scenic rides in the city, then SoCal is the place for you. Start in San Diego and bike the25-mile Bayshore Bikeway, which encircles the San Diego Bay and ends with a ferry ride from Coronado to San Diego. A bonus – most of this path is separated from car traffic.

Then, head north into Los Angeles, and check out the 22-mile Marvin Braude Bike Trail, which runs along the coast and includes the cities of Santa Monica, Venice and Torrance. It’s beachfront riding at its finest.

4. Tucson, Arizona

Not only is Tucson a beautiful city, it also is home to a bike path that is perfect for a bit more of an ambitious trek. It’s called The Loop and it’s the culmination of a project that’s been connecting all of the paths around Tucson to allow riders (and joggers, too) to complete a full circle around the city. The entire route is 55 miles.

If that’s a bit much for your biking tastes, The Active Times recommends trying one portion of The Loop – the Rillito River Path. This 12-mile section is one of the most scenic in the city.

3. Northern California

If you’re part technology enthusiast, part oenophile and part bicyclist, this is the perfect vacation destination. First, check out the Los Gatos Creek Trail in San Jose. It’s a low-impact 10-mile route that runs through the heart of Silicon Valley and is ideal for hikers and bikers alike.

Also, be sure to stop in San Francisco. There is a bike path that follows the Embarcadero, then heads over the Golden Gate Bridge. And if you’re worried about all of those famous San Francisco hills, The Active Times says not to worry. This bike path is low-lying and offers some of the best views of the city and the bay.

Then, before heading either farther north to visit wine country, consider a ride along the American River Bike Trail. It’s a 32-mile path from Sacramento to Folsom, it’s a quiet route that travels through nature areas and parks and offers a nice reprieve from the hustle of the city.

2. Austin, Texas

Probably most well-known as the home to the nation’s largest music and technology festival, South by Southwest, Austin is also home to one of the nation’s best bike paths. The Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail was ranked No. 7 in the nation by The Active Times. It’s an easy 10-mile path that circles Lady Bird Lake in central Austin.

1. Oregon

Oregon is home to two of the nation’s Top 10 bike paths. In Eugene, the Willamette River Trail is a 12-mile route that crosses the river multiple times. Unlike some of the other destinations, this trail is right in the heart of it all and riders can take multiple breaks to visit shopping centers, the University of Oregon campus or any one of a number of breweries along the trail.

But the feature of an Oregon trip is a visit to the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade and Springwater Trail in Portland. Portland was named the top bicycling city in the country by Bicycling Magazine in 2012 and these trails showcase why. The Active Times recommends starting on the short 1.5-mile Esplanade, which goes through the heart of Portland, then continuing on to the 21-mile Springwater Trail, a former rail trail that takes a very scenic route out to Boring.

What about you? Where do you like to relax and ride?

Regardless of your destination, they’re all great vacation spots with some of the best biking trails in the nation. You can’t go wrong with any of these locations.

What is your favorite cycling destination? It may even be in your own backyard. Leave us a comment please.